Okay, I’ll admit it: I’ve not been the same since I had the euphoric hit with my first Tinder date. Nothing since has even come close. I’m actually taking an O2 break, and working on myself for a bit before jumping back into the dating pool. I mean, I’m looking, but I’m not interested in anything less that fantastic. And for THREE STRANGE DAYS I had it. But what changed? Do I believe her story? Or did something cool rapidly? Was there something I did? Was she actually a bit manic when we met and coming down a few days later, realized “Nope, he’s not what I’m looking for.”
Sure. It’s happened to me. I got intoxicated once by a woman who kissed like a teenager. The hope and inspiration in that kissing was all I needed. But it was a short runway. And before we attained flight, I had a moment to assess the actual woman rather than her lips and sexy texts and …
Okay, it’s an old story. Sure it’s a new dawn for me, but ONE close miss has been enough to upset my optimistic approach to dating again. I’m a bit jaded. I don’t want FIRST DATES. Ever! Okay, that’s not accurate. Let me try again. First dates can be a real drag. I’ve had about three, TOTAL, in four years that were worth the price of a cup of coffee. And I’ve had a lot more that should have never happened. I’m learning. But what my crush showed me, was how close I am to manic passion myself.
I was ready to leap. I was kissing and fantasizing and talking with this woman. And each time she showed up, all three times, I was again fascinated by her looks, her humor, and her passionate style. And she appeared to rise to the occasion as well. Leaning in on the second date, in the parking lot and kissing me with a fury. She texted me later, “I kiss like I make love.” SHIT. She was on fire. But perhaps she was also showing how out of balance she was in her life, as well.
It was a furiously fast pace. But when the chemistry is on, you know it. And with both of you feel it’s on, and are *both* able to express it… The rush is like a drug. You’re chemical romance revs up and you’re ready to go. Ready for whatever. Flexible. Encouraged. Hot.
Usually, I was the one in pursuit. This time I had a live wire. Was something off? Was it me?
And then a bump on the runway. An emergency exit. And a text that said
What? Where did “at least be friends” come from. It wasn’t in our vocabulary. We weren’t broken up, we hadn’t fought. We had merely paused with the understanding that her life had suddenly become unmanageable. Okay. That’s fine. But this was a breakup text. This was what you say when you’re shutting down a relationship.
Okay. Information received. And yet, she haunts me. I was flipping through my texts and her name showed up. “DAMN,” I thought. Rather than just a little break, a bit of time to sort out the chaos of her immediate life transition, she had kissed me off with a “be friends” text.
What does this say about where she was? Had I been led on? Or did we both merely feedback and connect and generate a lot of heat? Then, as things got complex in her life, I was the simplest item to eject? And sure, messy love is consuming. But she had fired up Tinder as well? She had said she was looking for the next relationship. She shut down her Tinder app within 24 hours of meeting me. “That’s how I do it. I’m not looking to date. I’m looking to find one person and see where things go.” I’m pretty sure that’s a summation of her story. And perhaps the “where things go” had changed for her after date/meeting number three.
I’m not obsessing. But I’m also having a hard time moving on from this moment in the sun of passion, messiness, and an enthusiastic partner.
On the flip side she had a few “um, wait a minute” items
- She was smashingly good-looking (a smile that melted me)
- She responded quickly and affirmatively to our Tinder correspondence
- We met within 24 hours and kissed late into the second hour of our first date
- She lit up with energy and joy when we met, but maybe it was just too good to be true, maybe it was *too much* energy
- A few unsolicited selfies moved things on rather quickly
- Her fluency with sexual communication came through in our early phone calls
- She gave me a heat rash when I thought about her (things were just a tad too hot)
Um, those can all be good things. But in this case they might have been too good to be true. Too energetic. Too willing to jump into the fantasy of where things could go.
As I browsed our texts and saw the enticing photos she sent me I was saddened for a moment as I recalled the hope she kindled. But it was a false hope. And this is obvious by the way she exited and removed all potential for the future with that one text. When I saw that again, I said to myself. “If you open this one back up, you are just spending wasted energy on a dead-end. She’d contact you again if she were interested. I mean, if *she* was as thrilled as you were, she’d be asking for another glass of wine as soon as things settled down.”
But it wasn’t the settling down that needed to happen for her. Her life had been chaos before we met, and was chaos when we began “dating” and it devolved into even bigger chaos. I’m happy and sad to have missed the madness we could have created together. But madness is not what I need. I’ve had a taste of that before too. And I’m not interested in heading back into something intoxicating yet lacking in fundamental integrity. And maybe that’s the rub. She was awesome. Or what she *showed me* was awesome. Maybe the chaos she was showing was only what she couldn’t hide of her maelstrom. Perhaps beneath the writhing and hopeful surface she was a vortex.
I’d meet her and kiss her today if she called. But I’m pretty clear now, that she won’t. And it would not be the best thing for me either. Heady, but not healthy. Oh love, you fickle bitch.
The Off Parent
back to On Dating Again
- Big 5 Relationship Questions to Answer Before You Start Dating Again
- The Cute and Happy Woman is Nearby, I’ve Seen Her
- She Came On Like a Freight Train – The Woman Who Says “Yes”
- 5 Early Warning Signs When Dating: Looking for Ms. Lovejoy
image: unknown woman image, russian photographer site vk, creative commons usage
(This post continues the story begun here: Harsh Awareness: I Wouldn’t Date Me – What Am I Looking for After Divorce?)
“Its been a crazy busy week and already thurs night. crazy! anyway, i thought about it. i have a firm rule about not dating in my business circle, just too close for me. I checked out your linkedin profile and we are connected through 16 people. 2nd level – thats a lot in my business circle so…. if you are open to being friends, great. if not, i completely understand.”
And here is my response:
This is not a love letter. I’m not going to try and convince you to reconsider your choice. Thank you for your response. I have learned to expect nothing. I do want to offer a slightly different perspective and see if this jives with your understanding or doesn’t. Either way, I’d love to hear what you think, and I totally understand if you are too busy to respond yet again. (grin)
If the spark was there for you there would be no rules, plans, concepts, that would keep you from planning a second date. In fact, my expectation is, if things are sparking, we would both be asking, “So what are you doing this weekend?”
You were quite succinct in your assessment as we were walking towards the cars, “So I get the idea that you would like to go out again, right?” I nodded. “Well, I need to catch some air and think about it.”
Easy. Sure. No problem. Got it. While energized by the multi-hour conversation, I was clear that I had not scored the slam dunk I was imagining. I ignored my own guideline and wrote you a witty rejoinder on OK Cupid, and worse yet, had to go for the “ine” ryhyming thing via txt. Bad idea. Oh well. I was able to walk away from the evening with some pretty amazing self-awareness. (If you’re interested, I can share more, at some future time.)
So I walked away from the “Howdy” portion of our meeting with a buzz in my head and heart and a miss in my mind. No worries.
Conclusion: when the spark hits, there will be little resistance from either person when asking, “What’s next.” Damn the torpedoes. I’m hoping for this, at some point.
Going on seven months with OK Cupid you were the first “hello” that had me giddy. So many touch points between us, and a similar playfulness in our conversation. And I could see myself wanting to go with you, and follow you down any conversational path you wanted to take. And I would guess, unless you careless with your time, that you were enjoying our evening as well. And it was much more than your attractive smile and demeanor. You have great passion and humor. It was your attitude that I was aware of wanting to lean into.
But something was a miss. For you.
For me, I was willing to suspend any concerns, perceptions, next steps, in favor of “what ever.” I had the momentary high, “I’d take my profile down tomorrow if she said she wanted to date.” So clearly, I was IN.
You were OUT.
So here comes my own self-observation, self-deception, self-awareness. The only thing that doesn’t feel 100% awesome about me, is the weight I’m carrying as a result of my divorce/depression. And it’s okay. I had a momentary ah ha, “I wouldn’t date me.”
If there were no resistance, the mutual professional circles would be a connection and a touchpoint for trust, validation, and honesty. If there were no resistance, you would’ve left the idea of “next” open for either of us to broach. But you were very clear. You DID understand MY readiness. And you DID understand your hesitation.
So I don’t think it’s about LinkedIN, or professional networks. I think it’s a fundamental MISS.
It’s unfortunate because it must’ve been a near miss. And you had a potential partner who was saying, “All In.” Rare indeed, that kind of clarity.
And you have done me a favor. Both in your beauty and awakening effect you have had on my expectations of what I am looking for. “No compromise!” I had not experienced this since my divorce from a very attractive and potent woman.
And in your honesty at saying, “No thanks.”
I’m not expecting a huge response from you. I’m not actually expecting any response, and that’s okay, writing this message has helped clarify my feelings and ideas about meeting you and our near miss.
She’s still out there. And she behaves (and perhaps looks) a lot like you.
The Off Parent
Reference: OK Cupid founders: Your Looks and Online Dating (Perceptions of attractiveness men vs women)
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- The 5 Love Languages (a book on love styles by Gary Chapman)